Wheels are the instrument used to steer ships, and have a variety of custom variants which are purchasable for Loyalty and/or Premium tokens from the Loyalty and Premium Merchant NPCs respectively. Changing the wheel of a ship is completely cosmetic, and does not affect ship stats at all.
The Standard Wheel is the default wheel every ship is originally fitted with.
The Sturdy Wheel has less spokes than a standard wheel and has a thicker band. It can be purchased for 3 loyalty tokens or 5 premium tokens.
The Banded Wheel has more spokes than a standard wheel and has a slightly thinner wooden band, which contains a thin band of silver around it. It can be purchased for 6 loyalty tokens or 15 premium tokens.
The Gilded Wheel is essentially a sturdy wheel with a golden centerpiece and a gold band around the wooden band, similar to a banded wheel. It can only be purchased with 25 premium tokens.
The Heavy Wheel is technically two standard wheels attached to the same post, with an iron band around the wooden band. It can only be purchased with 20 premium tokens.